What Does Mindfulness Meditation Do to Your Brain? (Or, what I do all day.)
A little while back I did a media interview for an article on the emerging science of mindfulness (and then promptly forgot about it until the proof showed up in my inbox) - it gives an accessible glimpse into what recent research has found about how being mindful vs being stressed changes your brain, including work I've done over the course of my PhD.
As I told the good folks who were kind enough to call me up, it's clear that effective stress reduction techniques are increasingly important for our health in today's world, as is our ability to focus our minds (thank you smartphones and multitasking!). Want to perform better at work or school? Want to stay focused during your 10k race or hold onto your swim form mid-Ironman? Want to reduce your levels of circulating inflammatory markers? Mental training can help you. If "mindfulness" sounds like a bunch of woo-woo science to you, or brings to mind images of monks chanting in the woods, think again - it's hard to argue with pictures of brains, and can be done with 10-45 minute guided audio on your ipod (I like these from UCSD).